Rakuten Hoping For $16MM Posting Fee On Iwakuma

We heard earlier in the month that the Rakuten Golden Eagles had committed to posting right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma. Patrick Newman from NPB Tracker tweets that the bidding will begin tomorrow, and the Golden Eagles are hoping for a posting fee of around $16MM-$17MM.

Any team looking to sign Iwakuma would have to then also negoitate the right-hander's contract. The 29-year-old posted solid numbers across the board this year with a 2.82 ERA, 6.9 K/9, and 1.6 BB/9 over 201 innings. That marked Iwakuma's fourth straight season posting an ERA of 3.40 or better.

At 29 years old (30 next April), Iwakuma likely still has several good years left in his arm. Newman has said recently that Iwakuma is the second-best MLB pitching prospect currently in NPB. A posting fee that high, however, will undoubtedly limit the number of interested teams, despite a thin market for free agent starting pitching this season.

There's also the risk factor of bringing on a Japanese starter. While some, like Hiroki Kuroda, deliver on the investment, no team wants to end up with a Kei Igawa situation on their payroll.


Full Story | 15 Comments | Categories: Hisashi Iwakuma

15 Responses to Rakuten Hoping For $16MM Posting Fee On Iwakuma Leave a Reply

  1. pastlives 5 years ago

    i’m not sure how many teams will touch this guy at 16m posting fee…how much would he cost on top of that for the actual contract?

    • Stl_Great 5 years ago

      All depends on what Iwakuma asks for. Could be 2M per year, or it could be 10M per year.

      If anyone does get him to sign a contract, i’m thinking it’d be in the 4-6M per year region.

  2. Infield Fly 5 years ago

    Hmm… Japanese baseball teams profit greatly from the posting fees they set for MLB teams just to be able to talk to their player and [hopefully] convince him to sign. Ichiro obviously panned out beautifully, but overall I wonder roughly what percentage of Japanese players coming to the majors perform at a level that makes their MLB team’s posting investment truly worthwhile?

  3. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    Thats a lot of money, but this guy is a non-home run giver upper. He is exactly like Kuroda because he also has a good change up.

    He also went 21-4 with a 2.42 ERA I think the year before this past one.

    I remember that when Kuroda was posted, the Royals wanted him badly but instead were stuck with Yasahiko Yabuta…That worked out great, but I wonder if the Royals will again try to get a Japenese arm, this time Hisashi Iwakuma…

    By the way, I saw video, Iwakuma looks like a really good pitcher. Simply delivery, throws downhill for a not so tall guy. Looks like he’s going to have a good career in America.

  4. safari_punch 5 years ago

    Come on KC! Sign him!

  5. moonraker45 5 years ago

    i wouldnt touch this guy for that kind of posting fee.

  6. strikethree 5 years ago

    16 mil? That’s already 2 years of a mid rotation guy or 1 year for a top notch starter.

    10 mil tops for the posting fee or I’d pass.

    Japanese starter’s haven’t had much success in the ML and some have a tendency to break down during the second half of the season (perhaps because an MLB season is longer than an NPB season).

    I’m more inclined to see Japanese relievers since a flurry of Japanese imports have succeeded in the bullpen.

  7. goldenglove002 5 years ago

    Wouldn’t touch a Japanese player with a $16 MIL posting fee. The percentage of success to failures with Japanese imports leans way to much towards the failure side

  8. TapDancingTeddy 5 years ago

    I think only the very top Japanese players should command a posting fee. Getting a good player from Japan is like getting a good player from AAA. Getting a great player from Japan is getting a good to excellent major leauger.

  9. woadude 5 years ago

    LOL at the mention of Kei Igawa, the funniest part of him is he pitched the best game of his career when he was sporting sunglasses on the mound, he should of kept the look because he tanked and never came back.

  10. baseballz 5 years ago

    I know Iwakuma was awesome in the WBC and had a very strong approach, but still thats a lot of chedder.

  11. Shikikazu 5 years ago

    I think the Mariners will be the only team to take a chance on Iwakuma we happen to need a #2 starter and have about enough to pay that posting fee, Also playing in Seattle is probably the most appealing to Iwakuma despite our standings this year because he’ll benefit from the Japanese community here and having Ichiro here. Most teams are probably balking at the 10 Mill+ posting fee so that eliminates most teams, Yankees are more focused on renewing contracts and Lee most likely Red Sox have their rotation set and disgruntled with their investment with Matsuzaka and Dodgers (Mccourts) and Giants are unlikely. My guess is the Mariners will get him for 11 Mill-14 Mill Posting fee and Iwakuma will sign a 4-5 year 4.5-5mill a year contract

  12. Shikikazu 5 years ago

    The Mariners have also shown confidence in high caliber Japanese players like Ichiro, Johjima, and Sasaki who were considered the best at their positions/roles in Japan. I would be very ecstatic if the Mariners were able acquire Iwakuma or Darvish maybe even both (I wish) and then focus on finding a new second baseman and solid catcher ideally if Oakland declines the option on Mark Ellis sign him if not keep Lopez or call up Ackley and then sign a John Buck or Yorvit Torrealba (If option declined) to catch and bring back Bard as backup or use Johnson

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